October 25, 2011 Leave a comment
November 6, 2010 11 Comments
Donnie Darko is, on its most basic level, a film that is homage to 80s culture. It’s a cult classic (like many 80s films!) that references other 80s films, uses popular 80s film themes, and is set in 1988. But that is not all Donnie Darko is about. The film also makes statements about the socio-political and cultural developments of the late 80s, the reversal of family roles, etc., as well as being a superhero film, or more properly, an anti-super-hero narrative. It’s also a film that presents the age-old debate about predestination and free will; it posits alternate dimensions and worlds. But that isn’t all, either. It also contains elements of Jungian psychoanalysis, gnosticism, and the occult.
And now, let’s analyze. Here is the opening sequence:
It ends with the line from “The Killing Moon” song, ‘fate, up against your will; he will wait until you give yourself to him.” The classical hero had to face up to his face and survive it with stoic resolve. That is one level of Donnie Darko – the hero who must face up to his destiny, and we have been clued in to this by the opening song.
We see at the dinner scene that the family is dysfunctional – the father is not a father, and will remain passive throughout the film, as the mother runs the family and the children are rebellious and profane. This relates to the film’s criticism of 80s culture, especially its backward, hypocritical suburban morality. Note at 5:53 we see the Escher drawing of the eye prominently displayed, and as many know, in the reflection of the pupil, is death. Death will be a major theme in the film, but not just the generic notion of death, but death from a particularly Jungian and gnostic perspective.
Consider as well when Donnie awakens from his dream state and enters his trance state, at 8:23 what is visible is the Led Zeppelin album label image for Swan Song, which features an image of Lucifer falling, next to the upside down flag, signifying nation in distress. I am speculating here, but perhaps the two images are linked. Perhaps not. Regardless, the Lucifer and eye imagery is prominent in the film throughout, as we will see. Consider again the two prominent images in Donnie’s room. Recall that it is the engine that will “fall” through the roof – right where the image of Satan is. Without getting into too much speculation, the All-seeing eye is sometimes associated with Lucifer or Satan, but it generally depends on the context and intent, since it is also used to refer to the omniscience of the true God. Solomon speaks of God’s all-seeing eye in the Proverbs. Egyptians applied the image to Horus as a symbol of the divine attribute of omniscience. Point being, it means different things, but in modern masonic and Satanic culture, it is often applied to Lucifer:
It’s important to know as well that in most films, the details are crucial. Directors and producers place things there for a reason – acute attention is given to details. And, if you watch DVD commentaries, you will see them often speak of this.
It is significant that Frank, the dead spirit that possesses Donnie, communicates at midnight. Midnight is associated in many traditions with liturgical actions, and presumably in the occult as well. We read in Stoker’s “Dracula”: “It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?”
The spirits of the dead and demons commune at midnight, and this is when Frank speaks to Donnie, especially as we move closer to Halloween, which will be very significant. That is when Donnie’s “world” will end, as Frank explains, when he first speaks to Donnie in a trance. Again, speculating here, but the first list of numbers are all composed of or can total 666. Six, in gematria, is the number of man, and in the Apocalypse of St. John, the number of the Beast. Frank says “28 days, 6 hours, 42 mins, 12 seconds” and the world will end. 8-2 is 6, 6 hours, 4+2 is 6, and 12 is 6 + 6. With the level of depth and thought put into the film, I don’t think this is a stretch, though I have no way to prove it, of course. Read more of this post
October 19, 2010 15 Comments
1. The doctrine of a third Person was not clearly taught in the first few centuries. Indeed, even by Basil’s time, he expressed hesitation about declaring for sure that the Spirit was a third hypostasis in the godhead. The problem with this is that we must either admit a very extreme form of doctrinal development, which few are willing to admit, or we must say that in some way the fathers of the 1-3 centuries were utterly deficient in their doctrine of God. How did they carry on the apostolic Tradition, if many of them did not even grasp the divinity and Personhood of the Spirit? In fact, Justin Martyr posited a Dyad. Consider also the “development” of the notion from Athanasius that the Son is generated from the essence of God, to the Cappadocian idea that He is generated from the Father proper. Once you read Plotinus, though, it becomes clear how influential the Platonic tradition was on the Alexandrians and the Latins in their triadic formulations. But once we admit this, we have moved far from the Hebraic and Mosaic tradition, into what appears to be a Greek Hellenic mystery religion. Indeed, if you pay attention to Christian writers, notice how often when speaking of God, it is a singular Person, with a singular will acting. Yet when we come to Trinitarian theology and God acting, we are immediately caught in a whirlwind of explaining how three Persons act in different way, yet don’t. It’s a maze that ends up being miles away from the Shema. Peruse the 5th Ennead for yourself, which Augustine openly borrowed heavily from: http://classics.mit.edu/Plotinus/enneads.5.fifth.html
2. Can we pray impreccatory prayers now? C.S. Lewis found them offensive and demanded we cannot. Aquinas says we must in no wise despise our enemies. If no, this would be absurd, since it would mean God composed many prayers in the Psalms that are now useless. Although some might resort to lengthy explanations as to how we can pray them, this would run counter the tradition of many of the saints, who forbid such an idea. And based on a simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount, it would appear we cannot pray them. Other examples of how this is fuzzy would be something like martyrdom – does God want me to fight my opponents and possibly save the lives of others, or am I bound to martyrdom? When we look at the Church of the first few centuries, pacifism was almost the absolute law. Why such a radical change in God’s social rules? Read more of this post